The SOMM Journal

April / May 2018

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Page 62 of 108

62 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } APRIL/MAY 2018 With the help of Enologist Casey DiCesare and the blessing of the Scheids and their COO Kurt Gollnick, Nagengast's plan of attack was to create the best possible representation of Riverview Vineyard by experimenting with different variables. "This is our coolest vineyard, and to me it shows as the most Burgundian of all our sites," Nagengast tells The SOMM Journal. "Riverview already produces incredible wines for our Metz Road label and our 2015 vintage was wonderful. The 2016 was even better, so I predict this evaluation of clones and yeast for the 2017 vintage will become a benchmark for the wine's style." Native Takeover Although the oak regimen would stay the same for all the trials at roughly 35 percent new French oak, Nagengast and DiCesare played with almost all other aspects of the winemaking process. "These experiments were all about Riverview to really find how the vineyard best expresses itself, so we did a few different methods of canopy man - agement, like leaf pulling and cluster thinning," Nagengast explained. "In these particular bottlings, the vineyard was leaf-pulled and thinned down to one cluster per shoot. We probably ended up with two and a half tons to the acre. That's pretty concentrated for Salinas Valley, even though the vines are all VSP [vertical shoot position] and they're grown more for quality than for production anyway. We've also got several different clones out there." While highlighting two clones each of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Nagengast Tasting Notes: Riverview Vineyard Chardonnay Traditional Fermentation, Clone 4 (Wente Clone): This wine has a scent of sweet lemon curd. The citrus notes are exciting, entering the palate before the chalky mouthfeel. The honeyed floral liquid offers a buttery lemon finish. It's so expressive that it could be a standalone. Native Yeast Clone 4: Floral and spicy characters subdue the bright citrus from the previous wine. Banana and hazelnuts permeate the mid-palate for a cereal- like taste, and the finish is clean with a mineral wash. One Cluster Clone 4: The fermentation is traditional, but the grapes are thinned out for more exposure from direct sunlight—making it the ripest and most concentrated of the three Clone 4's. In addition to herby chamomile notes, the wine has a tropical side: papaya with rich, sweet oranges. Traditional Fermentation, Clone 96: This Dijon clone showcases an opulence that emulates lemon pie. The fruit is gor - geous and weighty from stirring sur lies. Ripeness and acidity go hand in hand. A winner on its own, it finishes with fig and salted vanilla. Native Yeast Clone 96: Yeasty notes are more prevalent than the Clone 4 native yeast, and there's a sharp, linear edginess and structure here. The fruit is in the background. One Cluster Clone 96: Again, this fol - lowed a traditional fermentation process with an emphasis on canopy management at one cluster per shoot. The wine has notes of animale and distinct honeyed floral and melon-toned fruit with a viscous texture. Clean and fresh citrus weaves throughout: There's great potential here. The 2017 Metz Road Chardonnay will bottle in September 2018.

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